Celtic’s Dembele Dosh – Lyon’s €50m Covid-19 Loss, players will have to be sold

CELTIC are edging closer to their Moussa Dembele transfer windfall this summer after Lyon admitted that they could be forced to sell some players after failing to qualify for Europe next season. But as David Low notes this morning, the French side still have money due to Celtic for the transfer and given yesterday’s news of the financial trouble Lyon are in – getting that money paid should be a priority for Celtic.

The French league was called last week with PSG crowned as the French Champions ahead of Marseille and Rennes – who Celtic knocked out of the Europa League, alongside Italian title contenders Lazio, this season at the group stage. Lyon finished seventh and out of the European places.

Dembele left Celtic Park in controversial circumstances in late August 2018 for a transfer fee of just under £20million. The French striker had a very public fall-out with the then manager Brendan Rodgers. Usually laid back and mild mannered, Dembele got up a head of steam on social media, making some pretty remarkable comments about the current Leicester City boss, before heading into Lennoxtown to confront him on the training ground.

Rodgers immediately acted to push through Dembele’s wish to leave the club and join Lyon – and it has to be noted that the French side seemed happy to play a part in this agitation in order to get their man.

The impact of no European football on top of the catostrophic loss of on-going revenue due to COVID-19 has resulted in Lyon accepting that some of their star players will have to be sold – and that more than likely means that the former Celtic striker will be heading to the English Premiership.

Lyon had previously been reported to be looking at around £60million for Dembele but the French club yesterday revealed that they expect the transfer market to be negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with a potential 20-25% price drop, Off The Pitch report this morning.

That could mean Dembele’s sale price could drop to around £45million, which will obviously have an impact on Celtic’s sell-on clause return.

Lyon, while revealing their third quarter financial situation yesterday, also reported that they expect to lose around €50m due to the coronavirus crisis and they are one of the first clubs to come forward to reveal how they estimate COV-19 is going to impact on their football club.

And another factor in this that Financial expect David Low, the Chair of Celtic Trust, has pointed out this morning, Celtic are apparently still owed some of the transfer fee from Lyon. Low reckons collecting that should be a priority for Celtic.

“Has an MV of £36m, down 20% post Covid19. The challenge is make sure we receive o/s payments given OL’s financial problems. https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/moussa-dembele/marktwertverlauf/spieler/229004 …. A transfer achieves that and any sell-on, a bonus,” Low states.

Do not think for one minute that Celtic will not be similarly impacted. One of the most crucial factors for Celtic’s long-term well-being is going to be how we react to the call to renew our season tickets this season, when getting to the games is going to be uncertain.

Provided Celtic ensure that we can see any Behind Closed Doors matches that happen before we are allowed back into the Holy Ground, then where possible due to individual financial circumstances, Celtic season tickets should renew.

Incidentally Celtic TV are working to ensure that they have the capacity to get all such games to us.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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